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Aid agencies turned away as Lebanese clashes enter third day

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Aid agencies turned away as Lebanese clashes enter third day

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A UN convoy is trying to gain access to the refugee camp in Tripoli under siege by Lebanese troops. Trucks arriving at a military checkpoint outside the Nahr al-Bared camp, carrying medical supplies and water were forced to turn round as UN representatives held negotiations with the army.

Lebanese troops are targeting militants from the Fatah al-Islam group based at the camp, 20 kilometres north of Tripoli. Doctors in the camp – home to 40,000 Palestinians – are calling for fighting to stop because there are dead and wounded people lying on the street.

Red Cross officials have appealed for a ceasefire to allow aid agencies to reach those worst affected by the violence – which has claimed at least 79 lives in three days. Clashes in the area have entered into a third day as government troops pound militants entrenched in the camp.

Footage shows plumes of smoke emanating from the refugee camp – as shelling resumed at dawn this morning – the militants have responded with rockets and machine gun fire.